Grateful Dead Hour no. 1444

May 22nd, 2016

Week of May 23, 2016

Part 1 29:22
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, GarciaLive volume 6
I SECOND THAT EMOTION (7/5/73)

Part 2 25:49
Interview: Peter Simon part 1
Talk
Interview: Peter Simon part 2
Miguel DeBraganza (unreleased)
SO MANY ROADS
Interview: Peter Simon part 3

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Jerry Garcia Family, presenting the return of the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes this summer. Tour stops include Tanglewood, Red Rocks, Central Park & more. And announcing the next installment in the GarciaLive Series, coming June 24 on Round Records: GarciaLive Volume Six is Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders, recorded July 5th, 1973 . Complete tour dates and archival release info at JerryGarcia.com

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at
www.deadandcompany.com

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. On Saturday, June 4, banjo master Bela Fleck reunites with the original Flecktones to showcase mind-blowing musical virtuosity. This is a rare opportunity to experience these great players together on stage. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

“Brokedown Palace” video

May 20th, 2016

Matt Mays directed this video of “Brokedown Palace,” from my CD It’s a Hand-Me-Down.

While David Gans is well known for his Grateful Dead reportage, his own musical career typically focuses on his well-crafted original material. However last year, as the Dead celebrated their 50th anniversary, Gans released It’s a Hand-Me-Down, which presents songs from the Dead catalog in a “solo electric” setting. Today, we premiere a video which features Gans’ version of “Brokedown Palace.” He explains to Relix, “Grateful Dead songs speak to the heart and soul on so many levels. ‘Brokedown Palace’ often feels to me like a song about death, about shedding the aches and pains of one’s aged body. So [filmmaker] Matt Mays and I thought it would be appropriate to use photos from my life in the video. Not that I’m in any hurry to leave this world!”

Berkeley Public Library benefit Thu 6/2

May 18th, 2016

Join the Berkeley Public Library Foundation on June 2, 2016 at 7:00pm for a special gathering hosted by noted authors and chroniclers of the Grateful Dead, Peter Richardson and David Gans.

Richardson, an American Studies professor at San Francisco State University and author of No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead, will join David Gans, journalist and author of This is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead, to share perspectives on the cultural milieu which shaped and was shaped by The Grateful Dead.

The event will take place at Spats on Shattuck, one of Jerry Garcia’s Berkeley hangouts in the 1970s.

Tickets are $40 with proceeds benefitting the Berkeley Public Library and can be purchased here. Appetizers and beer are included in the ticket price.

This event is part of AfterWORDS, the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s seasonal series of up close events with artists, authors and thinkers. Proceeds support It’s Time for Central, a fundraiser for Berkeley Public Library’s new Teen Room at the downtown Central Library.

About the Organization

The Berkeley Public Library Foundation raises funds for and advocates on behalf of the public library. The Foundation provides funding for library innovation and to help sustain the excellence of the buildings, services, collections and programs at all five locations of Berkeley Public Library. The current focus is on the “It’s Time for Central” campaign for improvements to the first and second floors at the Central Library, including a dynamic new space for teens, improved lighting and technology, a flexible reference room for expanded community activities, a more welcoming entryway, and display areas for public art. The Foundation also works to increase public awareness in the wider community that the public library is a living, evolving institution vital to our diverse community.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1443

May 15th, 2016

Week of May 16, 2016

Part 1 25:14
Billy and the Kids 4/9/16 Warfield Theater, San Francisco
FEEL LIKE A STRANGER
Grateful Dead, July 1978: The Complete Recordings (Rhino)
IT’S ALL OVER NOW (7/5/78)

Part 2 29:40
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia part 1
Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead
EASY WIND
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia part 2
Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead
NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE
Mischief, from The Best of The Vineyard Sound (Rhino)
THE WHEEL

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. On Friday, May 27, The Cap celebrates Memorial Day weekend by waving that flag with Phil Lesh & Friends. Lesh will be joined by Warren Haynes, John Medeski, Eric Krasno, and Tony Leone. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at deadandcompany.com.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1442

May 10th, 2016

Week of May 9, 2016

Part 1 28:37
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia part 1
Grateful Dead, 30 Trips Around the Sun (Rhino)
TRUCKIN’ (9/28/75)

Part 2 26:51
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia part 2
The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack (Rhino)
GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELIN’ BAD
Interview with Peter Simon 1975
Jerry Garcia part 3
Chuck Berry, The Definitive Collection (Chess)
PROMISED LAND

Peter Simon is a photographer and writer who lives on Martha’s Vineyard. He has published many amazing photos of the Grateful Dead, which you can find along with his photos of the Vineyard and other wonderful stuff online at petersimon.com. I met Peter in Jamaica in November of 1982 and collaborated with him on a book called Playing in the Band: An Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead, which was published in 1985 and which led indirectly to my getting into the radio business. He did this interview with Jerry during the time the Dead were not touring. Jerry was working on The Grateful Dead Movie; the Dead were working in Bob Weir’s studio on the material that became the album Blues for Allah; and Jerry was just a couple of months away from debuting the first edition of the Jerry Garcia Band. Peter was kind enough to allow me to use quotes from the interview in our book, and now he’s agreed to let me play the whole thing for you here on the GD Hour. The audio quality is a little bit funky, because he mixed some music in behind the talk in some stretches. But it’s always a treat to hear Jerry talk – he was as articulate and soulful in conversation as he was in his songwriting and performance.

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, a historic venue whose stage the Grateful Dead played 18 times in 1970 and 71 alone. Dark Star Orchestra will evoke the Grateful Dead’s musical spirit on On Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at www.deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour starting June 10th.

Capitol Theatre interview

May 1st, 2016

This Is Why You Should Turn On Your Lovelight with David Gans

Shows are Wednesday, May 4 (with the Broken Angels) and Wednesday, May 11 (solo, with special guest Garrin Benfield). Both shows start at 8.

I’ll be signing books and CDs before and after the show.

More gigs and more info here.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1441

May 1st, 2016

Week of May 2, 2016

Part 1 37:21
Grateful Dead 9/16/91 Madison Square Garden, NYC
SPACE->
GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELIN’ BAD->
ATTICS OF MY LIFE->
GOOD LOVIN’

Part 2 17:57
Grateful Dead 9/16/91 Madison Square Garden, NYC
JOHNNY B. GOODE
Grateful Dead, July 1978: The Complete Recordings (Rhino)
BLACK PETER

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Bloomsbury Publishing, announcing WORKINGMAN’s DEAD by Buzz Poole, part of the 33-1/3 series of short books about music. Available at bloomsbury.com and wherever books are sold. WORKINGMAN’S DEAD by Buzz Poole.

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at www.deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour starting June 10th.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Dark Star Orchestra will embody the energy of the Grateful Dead at The Cap on Friday and Saturday, May 20th and 21st. There will be nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile! Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

GDH returns to SLC!

April 25th, 2016

With the support of The State Room, the GD Hour returns to the air in Salt Lake City this week!

KRCL 90.9 will broadcast the Grateful Dead Hour Sundays at 6pm, starting May 1, 2016!

Please spread the word, and please make sure the club and the station know you like this by supporting both institutions!

KLCC (Eugene) interview 4/20

April 24th, 2016

I was interviewed by Eric Alan on KLCC Eugene OR last Wednesday, promoting that night’s gig with the Garcia Birthday Band and the Merry Pranksters at the WoW Hall.

The interview includes a live performance of “Down to Eugene” Listen here.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1440

April 24th, 2016

Week of April 25, 2016

Part 1 28:04
Grateful Dead 9/16/91 Madison Square Garden, NYC
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND->
DRUMS

Part 2 27:47
The National et al, Day of the Dead (4AD)
TERRAPIN STATION SUITE
Grateful Dead, July 1978: The Complete Recordings (Rhino)
TRUCKIN’ (7/5/78)

The Grateful Dead Hour is made possible in part this week by:

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at www.deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour starting June 10th.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Twiddle plays their signature hi-def shred with TAUK at The Cap on Saturday, May 7, presented by Live for Live Music. This show is guaranteed to put rhythm in your bones and chills up your spine. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

DG interview on Chico Currents

April 21st, 2016

Interview with my old pal Alan Chamberlain on his podcast Chico Currents

Rosie McGee on TIAADWD

April 18th, 2016

Kind words for This Is All a Dream We Dreamed from Rosie McGee, who is one of the voices in the collective narrative.

“The beauty of this unique book lies in the authors’ decision to let ‘those who were actually there’ tell the Grateful Dead story in their own words, from their own memories of living, working and traveling with the Dead, culled from hundreds of interviews conducted over many years. The bonus of these ‘mini-memoirs’ from the band members, crew, associates, family and friends lies in their recalling details of everyday life inside an environment that was all but ordinary. Great reading, plus an important reference book to add to your Grateful Dead bookshelf!”

Rosie McGee, photographer/author and one of those who were there, then.





This Is All a Dream We Dreamed

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1439

April 17th, 2016

Week of April 18, 2016

Part 1 27:06
Grateful Dead 9/16/91 Madison Square Garden, NYC
MISSISSIPPI HALFSTEP
SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE->
COMES A TIME

Part 2 29:44
Grateful Dead, Sunshine Daydream (8/27/72) (Rhino)
SING ME BACK HOME
Merle Haggard, from The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead (Shanachie)
MAMA TRIED
Grateful Dead, July 1978: The Complete Recordings (7/3/78) (Rhino)
DANCIN’ IN THE STREETS

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at www.deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour starting June 10th. Deadandcompany-dot-com

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Twiddle plays their signature hi-def shred with TAUK at The Cap on Saturday, May 7, presented by Live for Live Music. This show is guaranteed to put rhythm in your bones and chills up your spine. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Wavy’s haiku for “…Hand-Me-Down”

April 12th, 2016

It’s a Hand-Me-Down
Lifts you up up and away
Into the awesome

– Wavy Gravy

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1438

April 10th, 2016

Week of April 11, 2016

Part 1 29:03
Grateful Dead 9/16/91 Madison Square Garden, New York City
WEST LA FADEAWAY
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED
DON’T EASE ME IN

Part 2 25:59
Alabama Music Hall of Fame Induction 2/26/16
David Gans introduces Donna Jean
Donna Jean Godchaux’s speech

Donna Jean Godchaux Band w/ Jeff Mattson, Back Around
SHE SAID SHE SAID

Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay invited Gary Lambert (my cohost on SirisuXM’s Tales from the Golden Road) and me to introduce her at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame banquet on February 26. Gary wasn’t able to attend, but he wrote the first draft of the speech I gave at the banquet (with some help from me and some corrections from Deej). Here it is:

Those of us who hail from the Sovereign Republic of Psychedelia were first made aware of Donna Jean Godchaux in 1972, when she became the first and only woman to attain membership in that otherwise very male band of misfits known as the Grateful Dead. But what we Deadheads didn’t yet know was that we might have heard that beautiful voice before, on some of the most memorable records ever made. Y’see, before Donna Jean Godchaux fell in with those West Coast ne’er-do-wells, she was Donna Jean Thatcher, who started her career in the Muscle Shoals music scene while still a student at Sheffield High School, and also served as head of the cheerleading squad. In fact, Donna would sometimes head to recording dates straight from practice.

Donna’s sweet, soulful harmony vocals were heard on Percy Sledge’s hit, “When A Man Loves a Woman”, the first solo album by San Francisco’s own Boz Scaggs, as well as records by Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond, Cher, Ben E. King, and others. Then there was the trip to Memphis, where she was one of the singers on “Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto,” by Elvis Presley, the King of Rock’n’Roll his own self.

In the early ’70s, Donna pulled up stakes and moved to California, where she met, fell in love with and married a talented piano player named Keith Godchaux. Her friends dragged her to a Grateful Dead concert at an ice-skating arena turned rock palace called Winterland, and as she put it, “I just got my little pea brain blown right there.” With no real basis in practical reality, she turned to the friend sitting next to her and declared, “When I sing again, it’s gonna be with that band.” And damned if she didn’t make it happen. A few months later, she and Keith caught a small club date by one of Jerry Garcia’s various side projects. During a break between sets, Donna summoned up the nerve to speak to Jerry and inform him that – and Donna confirms this exact quote – “My husband is going to be your next piano player.” This was especially off-the-wall given that she had no reason to believe the Dead were looking for a keyboard player. It turned out that the Dead were starting think about finding someone to augment the band, as their founding organist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan’s health and energy declined. To Donna’s amazement, Jerry promptly wrote out his home number and told her to give him a call. Call she did, and shortly thereafter, Keith was invited to audition for the band, getting the gig in the fall of 1971.

A few months later, Donna herself broke into the boys’ club, just in time for the Dead’s legendary 1972 European tour. She’d later recall with a laugh that the transition from the Muscle Shoals rhythm section to the Grateful Dead was like going “from the tightest band in the world to the loosest.” But contrary to their reputation as psychedelic anarchists with a penchant for structure-free jams, the Dead had evolved musically – they’d always had a deep and abiding love for folk, country, blues, R&B and other American roots music forms, and those influences were evident in both the band’s choice of cover material and in their rapidly growing repertoire of fine original songs, which had fully flowered on such albums as Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. Donna quickly proved to be a perfect fit in the Grateful Dead through the ‘70s, bringing poignant harmony to a ballad such as “Looks Like Rain,” adding gospel fervor to Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home” and country sass to her lead vocal on Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” She wrote and sang lead on two songs with the Grateful Dead – “Sunrise” on Terrapin Station, and “From the Heart of Me,” on Shakedown Street – and with the Jerry Garcia Band, she gave us “Rain” on the landmark 1977 studio album Cats Under the Stars.

Her travels with the Dead took Donna around the world, from Winterland (where she first saw the band) to the great concert halls and arenas of America and Europe, and even all the way to the foot of the Sphinx and Great Pyramids in Egypt.

The rigors of the road also took a toll, and the Godchauxs came to a mutually agreed-upon parting of the ways with the Grateful Dead in 1979. After losing Keith in a car accident the next year, she married her second husband, David Mackay – himself a fine musician – in 1981. The couple returned to Muscle Shoals in 1994 with their sons, Zion and Kinsman, who are both fine musicians. But music remained integral to her being, and it was only a matter of time before she’d come back to recording and performing, among her own circle of kindred spirits here at home, occasionally sitting in with some of her old pals from the Grateful Dead, and also connecting with a younger generation of players profoundly influenced by the Dead. Among those new friends was Jeff Mattson, a brilliant disciple of Jerry Garcia who also happens to be crazy about Southern Soul, and who became one of DJ’s primary co-conspirators in her current Donna Jean Godchaux Band – a group that manages to find and celebrate the common ground between San Francisco-style jamming and what she likes to call the “back porch groove” of Muscle Shoals.

By virtue of her history-making tenure in the Grateful Dead, Donna Jean Godchaux is already a member in good standing of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now, it’s all come full circle for Donna Jean Thatcher from Sheffield High School. And while being enshrined in that place up in Cleveland is no small thing, there’s nothing quite as sweet as receiving the love and respect of folks in your own backyard. Accordingly, it’s a great honor to welcome to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame our dearest Deej – Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay.

(I don’t have a transcript of Donna’s remarks – you’ll just have to listen to the show!)

Congratulations, Donna Jean!!

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from coast to coast June 10 through July 30. Complete details and ticketing at www.deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour starting June 10th. Deadandcompany-dot-com

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. On Friday, April 22, The Gipsy Kings present a tour-de-force of world music, blending flamenco, rumba, salsa, and pop. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com